State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets the press

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Ministry of Foreign Affairs, March 8, 2022
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China National Radio: This has been the 32nd year for the Chinese foreign minister to make Africa his first overseas destination at the start of the year. What will China do to implement the outcomes of the Eighth FOCAC Ministerial Meeting? What do you say to those who accuse China of setting "debt traps" in Africa?

Wang Yi: Each year, the Chinese foreign minister would start his overseas visits with a trip to Africa. This reflects China's firm support for Africa's development and rejuvenation. Over the years, China has built over 10,000 kilometers of railways, up to 100,000 kilometers of highways, nearly 100 ports, and innumerable hospitals and schools in Africa. These are not "debt traps", but monuments of cooperation.

Last year was a big year for China-Africa cooperation. At the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, President Xi Jinping announced nine programs for cooperation with Africa and called for building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, adding new impetus to the growth of China-Africa relations.

This year, we start implementing the deliverables of the ministerial conference. China honors its commitment to cooperation with Africa, and never makes empty promises. We will champion the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, and work with African countries on the following three priorities:

First, we will vigorously advance anti-COVID cooperation with Africa. We will fully deliver on President Xi Jinping's pledge of providing one billion doses of vaccines to Africa and help Africa enhance capacity for localized vaccine production as Africa works toward the goal of vaccinating 60 percent of its population by the end of 2022.

Second, we will further upgrade China-Africa practical cooperation. We will accelerate high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and work for early harvests under the nine programs. We will synergize the GDI with the African Union's Agenda 2063 and take concrete actions to support the economic recovery and sustainable development of Africa.

Third, we will act on the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa. China has appointed a special envoy for the Horn of Africa, and is prepared to engage in extensive communication with countries in the region and play a constructive role for the peace and development of the Horn of Africa and the African continent as a whole.

Prensa Latina: How do you assess the current state of relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)? Some countries like the US accuse China of seeking geopolitical influence through its cooperation with the region. How do you respond to that accusation?

Wang Yi: Latin America and the Caribbean is a region of promise and vitality. It is not the backyard of anyone. What the people in the region need is fairness, justice and mutually beneficial cooperation, not power politics, hegemony or bullying.

China and LAC countries are members of the developing world. The shared aspiration for independence, development and revitalization connects the Chinese dream closely with the LAC dream. Since COVID-19 hit, China has engaged in active cooperation with LAC countries and provided nearly 400 million doses of vaccines and some 40 million units of supplies to the region. Last year, trade between the two sides surpassed US$400 billion for the first time. At the third Ministers' Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum, the two sides reached extensive consensus on deepening China-LAC strategic mutual trust and practical cooperation in priority areas in the next three years.

As a Latin American proverb goes, a real friend is someone who is able to touch your heart from the other side of the world. China will continue to deepen friendship, expand cooperation and work together with LAC friends for a China-LAC community with a shared future.

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